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6 Mar 2008 : Column 2814W—continued

Low Incomes

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many children were members of families with income of less than (a) 30 per cent., (b) 40 per cent., (c) 50 per cent. and (d) 60 per cent. of median earnings in each year since 1997; [185946]

(2) how many families there were with incomes of less than (a) 30 per cent., (b) 40 per cent., (c) 50 per cent. and (d) 60 per cent. of median earnings in each year since 1997; [185947]

(3) how many pensioners there were with incomes of less than (a) 30 per cent., (b) 40 per cent., (c) 50 per cent. and (d) 60 per cent. of median earnings in each year since 1997. [185948]

Mr. Timms: The most common and internationally recognised threshold to measure relative poverty is income below 60 per cent. of median. We do not present information covering 40 per cent. of median income in our Households Below Average Income series as it is not a sound measure of poverty. This is because households stating the lowest incomes to the Family Resources Survey may not actually have the lowest living standards. Some people who report very low incomes appear to have high spending. Hence any statistics on numbers in this group may be misleading.

The sample size for the number of households having an income below 30 per cent. of median is too small to yield reliable results.

Specific information regarding low income for the United Kingdom is available in “Households Below Average Income 1994-95 to 2005-06”. This annual report, which is a National Statistics publication, includes the numbers and proportions of individuals, children, working age adults and pensioners with incomes below 50 per cent., 60 per cent. and 70 per cent. of median income, and the proportions in persistent poverty.

Available information is shown in the following tables.


6 Mar 2008 : Column 2815W

6 Mar 2008 : Column 2816W
Table 1: Number of children living below 40 per cent., 50 per cent. and 60 per cent. of median income in each year between 1996-97 and 2005-06
£ millions
Before housing costs After housing costs
40% 50% 60% 40% 50% 60%

1996-97

0.6

1.8

3.4

1.4

3.2

4.3

1997-98

0.7

1.8

3.4

1.4

3.1

4.2

1998-99

0.7

1.8

3.4

1.5

3.1

4.4

1999-2000

0.7

1.7

3.4

1.4

3.0

4.3

2000-01

0.7

1.6

3.1

1.3

2.8

4.1

2001-02

0.7

1.5

3.0

1.3

2.6

4.0

2002-03

0.7

1.5

2.9

1.3

2.6

3.9

2003-04

0.7

1.4

2.9

1.3

2.5

3.7

2004-05

0.7

1.4

2.7

1.3

2.3

3.6

2005-06

0.7

1.4

2.8

1.3

2.5

3.8


Table 2: Number of families living below 40 per cent., 50 per cent. and 60 per cent. of median income in each year between 1996-97 and 2005-06
£ millions
Before housing costs After housing costs
40% 50% 60% 40% 50% 60%

1996-97

1.3

3.0

5.4

2.6

4.6

7.3

1997-98

1.5

3.1

5.5

2.5

4.5

7.0

1998-99

1.4

3.1

5.4

2.4

4.5

7.0

1999-2000

1.5

3.1

5.5

2.6

4.6

7.0

2000-01

1.6

3.2

5.5

2.6

4.4

6.8

2001-02

1.5

3.1

5.4

2.5

4.3

6.6

2002-03

1.6

3.3

5.6

2.7

4.5

6.8

2003-04

1.7

3.3

5.5

2.8

4.4

6.5

2004-05

1.6

3.1

5.4

2.7

4.2

6.2

2005-06

1.8

3.3

5.6

2.9

4.6

6.7


Table 3: Number of pensioners living below 40 per cent., 50 per cent. and 60 per cent. of median income in each year between 1996-97 and 2005-06
£ millions
Before housing costs After housing costs
40% 50% 60% 40% 50% 60%

1996-97

0.4

1.3

2.4

0.5

1.2

2.9

1997-98

0.5

1.3

2.5

0.5

1.3

2.9

1998-99

0.5

1.5

2.8

0.5

1.4

2.9

1999-2000

0.5

1.4

2.6

0.5

1.3

2.8

2000-01

0.5

1.4

2.6

0.5

1.2

2.7

2001-02

0.5

1.4

2.6

0.5

1.2

2.7

2002-03

0.5

1.4

2.5

0.5

1.1

2.5

2003-04

0.5

1.3

2.4

0.5

1.0

2.2

2004-05

0.4

1.2

2.3

0.5

0.9

1.9

2005-06

0.5

1.2

2.2

0.5

0.9

1.8


Table 4: Proportion of children living below 40 per cent., 50 per cent. and 60 per cent. of median income in each year between 1996-97 and 2005-06
£ millions
Before housing costs After housing costs
40% 50% 60% 40% 50% 60%

1996-97

5

14

27

11

25

34

1997-98

5

14

27

11

25

33

1998-99

5

14

26

11

24

34

1999-2000

5

13

26

11

23

33

2000-01

6

12

23

10

21

31

2001-02

5

11

23

10

20

31

2002-03

6

11

23

10

20

30

2003-04

5

11

22

10

19

29

2004-05

5

11

21

10

18

28

2005-06

6

11

22

10

19

30


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